Story by Heidi Wetmore
Spencerville Adventist Academy’s high school band, the Concert Winds, has been in a rebuilding process for the past two years. Last year the ensemble had only 13 members. Though small, they had such a successful year that their band director, Lisa Froelich, wanted to do something special for them. She submitted an audition tape from their Spring Concert to the Walt Disney World’s Performing Arts program to see
if they would be invited to a workshop. This past May, they received word they were accepted!
In September, the now 23-member band traveled to Orlando, Fla., where they did something few young musicians get the opportunity to experience: under a professional Disney conductor, they learned how to improve their sight reading, balance, phrasing, dynamics and several other musical skills. At the end of the work- shop, the conductor recorded them and demonstrated how their recording could be used as a soundtrack.
“I loved how interactive and creative the conductor was,” says senior Jehlyssa Kennedy. “He did a great job of engaging us and keeping us focused on him the entire time.”
Freshman Cameron Da Cunha shares, “He would record us whenever we were sight reading, and then also at the end of the piece once we had spent time on it. Hearing the result of our work compared to where we had started was really cool!”
Senior Nina Palivela adds, “I started the workshop being a little hesitant, but as we continued, I felt myself becoming more confident in my playing abili- ties. I learned that you always have room to grow, and with that growth, you can do more things than you thought possible.”